Written by Jefferson G. Togbais –
Since your functions are largely being modified as well as your responsibilities for your subsequent transformation formally of the Ministry of Gender to the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection (MGCSP) with greater authorities much is yet to be seem from your workings of enormous gender and social change for all regardless of a person state of being (feminine, masculine, income).
I urge the Ministry to see its responsibilities beyond women and children’s affairs especially girls because most of the ministry’s activities are women’s centered. In 2001, nearly 16 years ago by an act of the National legislature granting the ministry the status of social protection and welfare programs for every citizen in the context of its name and mandate.
Do you (The Minister) know that you have special responsibilities to advice National Government on matters affecting the development and welfare of women, Children, men as well as people with mental illnesses of Crazy People?
As your name “gender” implies does not suffice women, girls or only under age children, but all sexes called Human Being (men or women, old or young, boys & girls, physically challenged, sound minded or mentally ill people) in general. Look at gender(s) from the prospective of Genderism “the state of being male or female” (stereotypically used with orientation to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones).
Do you know social welfare is no longer the Ministry of Health’s responsibilities, however, your oversight to improve? For many like us from the background of development studies see development in the frameworkof macroeconomic growth and the accumulation of wealth. Meanwhile, for others still, development means improving the human condition. And cardinal among your duties are to improve human condition through research recommendations to National Government and how those approvals are operationalizing to transform human lives. Straight to the points, the MGCSP needs to act beyond speeches and touch lives after dialogues and donors’ consultations.
Programs for Street’s Children
You flawed on street children to the utmost especially the way Liberia’s children if not youth are living ungoverned. Your policy taught of coming down hard on street selling isn’t in right direction because “stop sellers and stop buyersto save our children” does not involved policy programming to transform the children leaving street for tomorrow’s society benefit. You are only chasing them off the street, but what next? Few weeks ago you and partners promised to institute programs for street kids, but where can you point?
You think police running after children for street selling; is right? The same attitude applied to “ZOGOS” removal from the street, graveyards and ghetto. You must have programs of change to act upon and converttheir minds for the greater good of our larger society before releasing statements.Where is your Social Cash Transfer Program that was inaugurated for EBOLA’s survivors?Yet, today, we still see Zogos in the streets since you never had any well define program neither a workable one. The Social Cash Transfer program (SCT) has helped other poverty striking countries in the world. It’s a means of reducing poverty. And there are serious domestics factors pulling future leaders into the streets to win bread for their family if not for themselves. This call for investigation before action.
Many a time we see our police efforts being erroneously misdirected; running after street sellers (children)along the Tubman Boulevard route while retiring from work at evening hours. What livelihood empowerment programs against poverty and how could the Ministry avoid the return of these children? We don’t force people to benefit mainly where assistance is being assured by the evident of undertakings. Have you contextualized genders as social variables like age, income and gender itself? Who are their parents or guidance and what do they earn their living from?
I beg to differ that most of the confiscated goods are not return. You don’t discourage people from doing the wrong things they survive on through inflicting pains and by implementing quasi solution. What hurts me the most is the fashion in which the children’s goods are confiscated in unaccounted ways. Do you know their background?
Mentally ill-people of “craze People”
We are on a serious trajectory to sustaining our peace nearly 14years ago. This is evident to the fact that we have had two successful elections since the departure of former president Charles Taylor and from the time the guns have been silenced in 2003. After war in any country like ours, we fight to enhance the economy, education, health and good governance to ensure our forwardness through every stakeholder especially policies makers as well as their implementers. Show me a country that has done well without these institutions being structurally organized and functionally performing in full then I will show many as a result of failure institutions.
Today in Liberia, there are many mentally ill people in most street corners and communities without care. Also, these people care are your concerned too. Before our crazy war like the people we finding social justice forin Liberia had a place for them called “Rehab” around the vice president’s resident. Why their (crazy-people) home is not functional and operational today? Do you see the point when I mentioned policy and programing for all? If we have workable policies that factored everyone into special need considerations, they too won’t be left out.
They are entitled to all the rights and social benefits accorded us as sound mined people. It should trouble authority at the MGCSP to create shelters for them. They deserve more than that. Similarly, it poses serious dangers to all of us because they react differently from us. Therefore, why should we leave them unprotected? These people are left alone so we are intimidated seriously by their presence. They can create uncommon scenes/happenings- to the extent where crazy men rapped few women in the Red-light district and on our most favor Broad street years ago. These women are living in perpetual nightmare if they have not already committed suicide due to open shame and embarrassment as well as fear of being publicly identify for unwilling circumstances. MGCSP should always include them into the planning processes and its social change programs for implementations to transform lives.
I wonder if these many associations of the blind are truly in their interest or just to gain benefits and amass worth through others’ situation. Almost every street corner in Monrovia you see a blind person begging to survive. I know Montserrado county has the broad picture of what other counties depict. So you can image the living conditions of the blind in other very far away counties from central authority’s (MGCSP)sight catching. They found legitimate part of your social and statutory responsibilities.
Don’t leave these blind at the will and mercy of these so called blind organizations groups. These organizations behavioral attitudes are under pinning your efforts because you (MGCSP) too much rely on what they say they could do for them. Meanwhile, they are doing nothing. On the other hand, they have given up on their duties and responsibilities promised in principles. Where are your monitoring and evaluation team? Can you image in this age and time, our citizen still using bare stick instead of canes?
Ever since they failed to distribute fairly whatever they have solicited in their respective group’s name, however, nobody questions their insincerityagainst them. Because the authority isn’t checking their activities neither monitoring them. Who can we trust to care for the naturally born less fortunate in our society?
Are you advancing ideas to inclusively take them into account into national curriculum program and adequate budgetaryallocation to transform their lives instead of just living on hand out?When you step out of the box;it compels you to think of other members in our pluralisticsociety. It is really uncalledfor to see them entirely occupying all the bus stops in and around Monrovia. With their presence everywhere then how could our kids or even us make use of the bus stops? They too need space as member of our society particularly by you (MGCSP).
The physically challenged people
But what happened to the Group of 77 disabled? One answer lies in the fact that many members of the group are seeming in their numbers across the street unattended to. Another possibility, though, is the difference between physically challenged people living by themselves and those under the Group of 77 disabled.
When any member wish to leave the compound it should be on purpose and fully authorize by the Group of 77disabled managements. With this form of monitoring, the authority will be in the know of its members where about and when to return.
We know that these people got their family and want to see them occasionally but must be done in an orderly manner to avoid camouflage intent.We don’t intent to undermined any effort from office’s Second Lady of the Republic of Liberia,Madam Boakai. When institutions are established their objectives and goals must be accomplished no matter what and who they serve. Why do people accept responsibilities, but don’t actualize their duties and responsibilities through performance results? Even some of those crutches and wheelchairs been used by physically challenged people are too troubling.
They are residing at the Group of 77 disabled headquarters on Newport Street, but one thing I observed also is the safety bars are not safe enough for them and their kids. How could the management make stripes (planks of two inches as window’s bars)? The building is well painted BLUE with old BROWN windows. There is an educational center at the headquarters for physically challenged people’s kids, but most women in the training school. That headquarters does not have the capacity to contain the occupants seem in the compound.
Even though the headquarters is a complete residence at night but serves multipurpose at day (residential, general education then offices). Don’t get me wrong for challenging leaders to do more than making plenty empty speeches to influence those who don’t know. I grasped the outside view, nevertheless, there was no chance to physically understand the interior of the building.
Although,the compound supposed to be unrestricted enough for their comfort, on the other hand, there are many vehicles parked as though it was a parking lot which constraint their freedom of movement from wide-ranging right to use the compound.Until now, there management team chaired by the Second Lady according to established protocol;so who does she/ or the management team report to? The culture of understanding is that the Group of 77 Disabled has always been management by Second Ladies.Since her (Madam Boakai) ascendency nearly 12years ago as head of the “Group of 77 Disabled” little is known. Besides, do we really see these people equal as us that dared our efforts to do more?
To tie up my thought, the one way to think about gender it is through the social economics inclusion programs void of centralizing and entirely drafting all policies and conferences speech only on femininity inequality and abuses encounters. Even though your efforts seem to be enthusiastically advocating and defending women and girls’ rights, yet most of whom you are fighting for are not exclusively capture.
Stop seeing them as being weak because they are victims of physical fitness. Notwithstanding, they are not victims of mental strength to contribute unless we turn our determinations against their ability for life better. I know that grammatically gender is only used very inaccurately to be associated with natural distinctions of sex and the sex you(MGCSP) see in genders is feminine. Could you re-focus your programs and advocacies to the all-inclusive viewpoint of genders as well as redesigned policies to equal genders generally?
Jefferson G. Togbais a lecturer at the United Methodist University; he holds master of Arts degree in Diplomacy, Law & Business. He also read extensively on international Affairs with emphasis on International Political Economy at the Jindal School of international Affairs at the O.P. Jindal Global University in India. He also served as conference panelist during the India-Africa Corporation held in New Delhi in 2015; and he graduated with bachelor degree in Business Administration at the AME Zion University, Liberia.